Friday, November 30, 2007

Sudan's Islamic Teddy Bear Scandal: Today's Cartoon

Alright, I can see how people might get offended when a newspaper prints cartoons depicting their religious icons as terrorists... but where is the harm in naming a teddy bear after a child, who happens to also be named after the most revered figure in Islam?

I mean, if this is the sort of touchy attitude that Muslim's have towards the representation of their prophet (especially by Westerners), then why do so many of them insist on naming their children after him; because let's face it, not everyone grows up to become a "messenger of God"... if you know what I mean.

Look, it's one thing for a teacher to offend Islam by letting her students name a stuff toy after a boy named "Muhammad"; but if that kid isn't exactly the star student, then not only should the entire class be thrown in jail, but the child's parents as well.

It seems to me that with all this outrage being expressed towards the Sudanese government for their imprisonment of a British woman for what appears to be a cultural misunderstanding, the furor over the "Muhammad Bear" may quickly turn into the frenzy over this Christmas' "Tickle-Me Elmo".

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Musharraf Resigns from Military: Today's Cartoon

You know, for a military ruler whose declared marshal law, President Pervez Musharraf appears to be an awfully benevolent dictator... at least by Burmese standards.

I mean, since imposing his state of emergency, Musharraf has permitted exiled former prime ministers to return and openly challenge his leadership and has even agreed to give up command of the nation's military, thus relinquishing his only real power base.

Sure, these can be viewed as positive steps towards reinstating Pakistan's democracy, but I thought "marshal law" was suppose to take that away... not give it back.

Now, it seems to me that for a country that has been under the repressive rule of a military regime for the last eight years, Pakistan's state of emergency has actually moved the nation closer to democracy under marshal law than it ever was without it. Either that, or Musharraf is doing things all wrong... But I won't tell him, if you don't ;)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bush Hosts Israeli Palestinian Peace Summit: Today's Cartoon

While President Bush is not in favor of any timetables with regard to ending his own wars, apparently he has no problem adding them to other conflicts; which under his mediation, makes the prospect of peace between Israeli and Palestinians appear as likely as a Beatles reunion.

Now, I don't mean to be pessimistic towards a summit aimed at helping to end 40 years of bitter violence, but how can there possibly be any peace negotiations if one side of that conflict isn't even invited to participate?

Oh sure, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas can be excluded ... but they certainly can't be ignored; especially when Tehran is announcing the development of new long-range missiles, capable of striking Israel.

The way I see it, real progress in resolving the Israeli/Palestinian (and greater Arab) conflict does not involve carefully stage-managed hand shakes between Ehud Olmert and Mahoud Abbas at a U.S. Naval Academy, but actual dialog between adversaries at a neutral location; which unfortunately for President Bush means that negotiations would probably take much longer than the 14 months that he has left to salvage his legacy.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cheney Diagnosed With Irregular Heartbeat: Today's Cartoon

If one's body is their "temple" then Dick Cheney's physician must be Indiana Jones. I mean, how else can you explain the longevity of such an unhealthy individual (in such a high stress occupation) other than to assume that he's got the holy grail hidden somewhere up his "Canyon of the Crescent Moon"?

You know, for someone who even calls himself the "Darth Vader" of the Bush Administration, Dick Cheney appears to be just one popped paper bag away from the "dark side"; which for a guy who apparently never leaves home without his hazmat suit, must give the Secret Service panic attacks at night.

Well, despite the pain and suffering already brought to millions of people through his disastrous foreign policy, I guess it's good to know that Dick Cheney is not actually firing on all cylinders... which may explain why the rest of us are still around today ;)

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Australia Votes For Political Climate Change: Today's Cartoon

You know, if the intention of "The Project for the New American Century" was for the United States to assert its "influence" throughout the world, then perhaps the outcome of Australia's election can STILL be interpreted as a victory for the Neo-conservative think tank, even if the results can be viewed primarily as a rejection of it.

From America's policy (or lack thereof) on climate change to its "War on Terror", it seems that the desire by the U.S. to shape the rest of the world may have worked too well; to the point that all a politician seemingly has to do nowadays is oppose whatever the Bush Administration is in favor of, in order to gain the trust of his or her nation. Meaning that the closer the ties are to Washington, the easier it appears for the opposition to gain control of that country.

The way I see it, by signing on to the Kyoto protocol and withdrawing troops from Iraq, Kevin Rudd's landslide victory over Prime Minister John Howard could have only been greater had he actually been running against President Bush himself; in which case, even the Lord Humungus wouldn't have much of a problem convincing Australians to "just walk away".

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Bush Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey: Today's Cartoon

You know, it's a good thing the tradition on Thanksgiving is that the President of the United States pardons a turkey instead of a "cooked goose"; because I can think of a few dirty birds that wouldn't mind swapping feathers with one dim witted animal, just so they could be exonerated by another ;)

I must admit that at first when I heard the White House was holding a contest to name its "National Thanksgiving Turkey", I figured that either "Scooter Libby" was too obvious a choice, or that the convicted White House aide was in the market for a new nickname.

Well, whatever the case may be, another Thanksgiving in the States means one less for the Bush Administration; which is something that I'm pretty sure most Americans (and the rest of the world) can be "thankful" for.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

McClellan Faults Bush In CIA Leak: Today's Cartoon

Thinking back to Scott McClellan's awkward tenure as White House Press Secretary, it makes sense that the often nervous and uncomfortable relation he had with the media was not due to the questions being asked... but rather the answers he was giving.

McClellan's admission that he "unknowingly" mislead the public with "false information" about the Valerie Plame scandal, appears to incriminate members of the Oval office directly of their involvement in the leaking of the covert CIA agent's identity; something which if true, would sink the Bush Administration... if all their hot air didn't constantly keep them afloat.

Despite this surprising (yet somewhat obvious) revelation, the publisher of McClellan's memoir insists that the former press secretary does not believe that President Bush "lied" to him about the role of the White House in the Plame affair; however, since the book is about misinforming the public, I guess we'll have to wait until his NEXT tell-all to know for sure if he is telling us the truth.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scientific Breakthrough In Stem Cell Research: Today's Cartoon

Man, give scientists small enough tweezers, and they can accomplish just about anything.

The average human sheds about 10 billion flakes of skin a day, which means that if advances in stem cell research continue in the direction it seems to be headed, pretty soon all those discarded cells of DNA you're body is dropping could be swept up and used to manufacture everything from spare heart valves to taints... And people thought file sharing was a problem ;)

In the meantime, the discovery of an alternative method of collecting stem cells, which bypasses the controversial use (and destruction) of human embryos, may quiet the political debate surrounding the research; but the corruption of an ordinary skin cell with a foreign nucleus for the purpose of reprogramming its behavior still raises a few questions... such as "is it right to meddle with nature?", "what are the risks of orchestrating these man-made mutations?" and "how soon can we find out?"

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chavez, Ahmadinejad Urge OPEC Abandon Dollar: Today's Cartoon

In case you didn't already know, the rapid decline in America's dollar has caused the price of oil to skyrocket, causing key members of OPEC to openly consider abandoning the currency, in favor of something less "worthless"

Now I'm no economist by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that while America's economic woes have depreciated the value of its dollar and caused the price of oil to skyrocket, when compared to the exchange rate of other nations, the actual "value" of the resource has not. Meaning that while it takes more American greenbacks for the world to buy its oil, the only one who really seems to suffer from that is the United States (and its weakening economy).

...Which makes me wonder, why adversaries like Venezuela and Iran would be so eager to see this change.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Musharraf Rejects US Call to End Emergency: Today's Cartoon

I wonder how much Pervez Musharraf savors the opportunity to ignore the demands of the United States; and in turn, get back at the same government that once allegedly threatened to bomb his country back to the stone age, if he didn't do exactly as they wanted.

The way I see it, if spreading democracy across the Middle East was as easy as the Bush Administration led their country to believe, then there wouldn't have been such a need for them to start tweaking the definition of "democracy" at home, so that it more closely aligns with the situation in places like Iraq and Pakistan... which I guess in a way DOES make it as easy as they claim.

It also means that if all else fails and President Bush is unable to guide Pakistan towards democracy through free and fair elections, he could simply steer "democracy" closer to Pakistan... by having marshal law in the U.S. as well.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Barry Bonds Indicted For Perjury: Today's Cartoon

To me, Barry Bonds indictment for lying to a U.S. grand jury about his "alleged" steroid use is good news. Not because I'm angry that he broke baseball's all-time home run record or that his personal warmth appears to rival that of a coiled-up black mamba; but because by alleging that Bond's took performance enhancing drugs "deliberately", the less likely it was the result of the CRUELEST clubhouse prank in major league history.

I mean, think about it... What if he honestly believed that he wasn't on the juice and that everything he accomplished in baseball was due to his natural ability, instead of the horse tranquilizers being slipped into his Gatorade every time he took the field, for the last 10 years.

At least this way we can deduce from the charges that he was a willing participant in his own genetic mutation and not an escapee from the dugout of Dr. Moreau; which is a good thing, because it's awfully difficult to feel sorry for someone who seems to be in a perpetual state of simmering roid rage.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Investigator's Blackwater Ties Scrutinized: Today's Cartoon

Wow. I mean, even by the Bush Administration's standards... WOW!

Personally, I'm not sure which is worse, the fact that the U.S. State Department's Inspector General had to recuse himself from a probe into Blackwater after being TOLD that his own brother works for the embattled security firm... or that someone who doesn't even know what his own brother does for a living could become the State Department's "top investigator" in the first place.

You know, I wonder if it was really necessary for Mr. Krongard to inform the House Oversight Committee of his decision to disqualify himself from investigating Blackwater; when according to this revelation, he apparently never did to begin with.

In defense of the Inspector General, I will say that in order to conduct an investigation, one needs to rely upon their "intelligence"... which in this case is obviously in short supply.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bhutto Calls For Musharraf's Resignation: Today's Cartoon

Be careful what you wish for, Pakistan just might get it...

While Benazir Bhutto's call for the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf may be applauded by those wishing to see an end to the country's military dictatorship, I'm not so sure that a return to "democratic" rule (at this time) would necessarily improve matters; as growing anti-American sentiment among the population could easily give rise to a Islamist government... with nuclear weapons.

Oh sure, it's easy for Bhutto to champion democracy when she has the only name on the ballot; but all it takes is for her to remind the people of Pakistan why she left power (and the country) in the first place, for them to use that regained "democratic" right, to seek a "radical" departure from the corruption of the status quo. And with that, usher in a government that would make even Pervez Musharraf return from exile to overthrow.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Italian Police Shooting Sparks Riots: Today's Cartoon

While Italian authorities insist that the shooting of an unarmed soccer fan during a scuffle between rival club supporters was "accidental", the use of live ammunition to disperse the crowd apparently wasn't.

Now, I'm not saying that police shouldn't take appropriate measures to ensure public safety; but the way I see it, if the situation requires the use of bullets and the risk of inciting widespread riots across the country, then what's the harm in just letting these hooligans beat the tar out of each other? (at least, to the REST of the community)

To me, the idea of getting so worked up over a sport's franchise that I would be willing to slug it out with like-minded fanatics in a gas station parking lot for the imaginary "honor" of my team, is about as noble a cause as eating too many bean burritos; then again, the Leafs haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1967... which now that I think about it, may have been a good thing.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Musharraf Promises Pakistan Elections: Today's Cartoon

To me, the rationale that Pakistan's state of emergency will ensure a fair general election in January makes perfect sense... provided that the "general" being elected is Pervez Musharraf.

You know, I can understand opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's frustration. Here you have a situation where a military dictator is making a mockery of the democratic process, by doing everything in his power to prevent the "fair and free" election of the only person that seems to be on the ballot. I mean, how hard can it be for the campaign's only viable candidate to lose an election against an incumbent that doesn't even believe in democracy?

I guess it's too bad for John Kerry that he's not Pakistani, because not even he could lose this election.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

AT&T Whistleblower Details NSA Spying: Today's Cartoon #500

Chances are that if you are reading this post, then according to a former technician for AT&T, a record of it has already been sent to a "secret room" at the telecom company, for the US government to examine and determine whether or not this poses a threat to national security.

Now, because it's too late for you to leave and pretend that coming here never happened, you might as well keep reading, since the damage has already been done. The way I see it, our paths have "officially" crossed; thereby implementing each other in whatever scheme that YOU are up to ;)

Therefore, I would like the monitors of the "secret room" of the NSA to note that if the individual currently reading this is under your suspicion, I in no way encourage, support or endorse their behavior... I can only vouch for my own :P

I would also like the record to show that this is my 500th cartoon; and I would like to thank everyone (including the NSA) for continuing to stop by and "surveil" my work. As unlikely as it may seem at the moment, perhaps one day we can all look back at these troubling times and share a laugh... at least that is what these cartoons are for :)

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sarkozy and Bush Repair Relations: Today's Cartoon

As a pet owner, I can attest that once you've become accustomed to a certain breed of lap dog, you tend to remain as loyal to it, as it remained loyal to you. This is why I'm not surprised that President Bush has decided to ease the pain of losing Tony Blair, by replacing him with another "poodle" in French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

By working to mend relations damaged over France's opposition to the Iraq war, Sarkozy seems to have taken advantage of the world's low opinion of the United States to prove his country's loyalty, at an extremely cheap rate.

In what once would have cost a nation a troop deployment to the front lines of Iraq or Afghanistan, France has been able to garner the praise of the United States, from a simple diplomatic visit to Washington... which must make Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wonder what it is that he's doing so wrong.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ron Paul Nets Millions From Web: Today's Cartoon

Not since the "Mahir" craze of 1999 has the internet been so united in its praise of a single individual.

Fortunately, in this case the person being admired is not some Turkish accordion player with bad English and worse web design skills, offering his home and bed to foreign tourists; but a virtually unknown Presidential candidate, offering his hopeful vision of the future to the United States.

Yes, the internet has definitely come a long way since the Bush Administration came into power. So much so that users are willing to shell out over $4 million in 24 hour, in an effort to help them delete the last eight years of neocon spam from their memory.

I think the fact that Ron Paul's web campaign has been able to resonate so strongly among Americans, despite the mainstream media's efforts to downplay his candidacy, just shows which of the two carries the greater message... and has the more influential "platform".

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hollywood Writers Go On Strike: Today's Cartoon

Who needs "The Daily Show", when you've got "Beyond the Punchline"... Don't worry kids, I'll take care of you :)

That's right, I'm crossing the virtual picket line; because somebody's got to entertain the masses, while Hollywood figures out the best way to split its pennies... which was something this disgruntled blogger learned to do a long time ago ;)

Now, I'm all for unions and an honest day's pay, but it seems to me that whenever a strike forces a business to yield to the demands of its workers, management usually finds a way to get that money back into its pockets; and it almost always comes in the form of layoffs. I mean, why should "show business" be different than any other business, right?

Back in 1988, when the Writers Guild of America last went on strike, there was no internet for the public to turn to fill the void left by "Golden Girls" reruns. Today however, with our increased options and shorter attention spans, television is no longer the main medium of choice for a steadily growing portion of the population. So while studios say that it may take a few weeks before we notice the effects of the strike on our favorite (American) TV shows; for those without any, it may take a lot longer.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Musharraf Declares Pakistan Emergency: Today's Cartoon

To give you an idea of just how spectacularly screwed up the Middle East has become, Iran has one on the more "stable" governments; and yet, they are the ones considered the biggest threat to the region.

I mean, to those already weary of the Bush administration's saber rattling towards Tehran, good luck trying to convince any of them of the danger it may pose with it's imaginary nukes; when a hop-skip and a jump across the minefields of Afghanistan, there is a country descending into chaos, with control of it's very real nuclear arsenal at stake.

It seems to me that by remaining such an "outspoken" ally of the White House and its "War on Terror", Pervez Musharraf has figured out a way to use his public support of the Bush Administration against them, by using it as a shield which enables him to defy Washington and seize further control of Pakistan, without any fear of consequences from the US.

After all, how would it look if President Bush had to suddenly turn against one of his last/best allies in the region?

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Dog the Bounty Hunter Barks N-Word: Today's Cartoon

All together now... "If you're saying things, running through your head, who you gonna' call?... AL SHARPTON!"

Hmm... It seems to me that those who are upset by what Dog the Bounty Hunter said in a PRIVATE phone conversation, must have been pretty eager to get offended, if they decided to listen to the recording knowing full well what the content was going to be. I mean, if someone tells you that a carton of milk is bad and you decide to drink from it anyway, what cause do you have to complain about the taste?

Now, I'm not supporting what "Dog" said on the tape, but I do believe that he has the right to say it, whether we agree with him or not. After all, he didn't break any laws... just reinforce another stereotype to accompany that mangy mullet of his.

In my opinion, the real issue here is not racism... but privacy; and whether or not because someone works in entertainment that entitles the audience to peer into their personal lives, as though it were still part of the show. I guess for "reality" TV stars that line between what's public and private domain may be a bit blurry, but I'm pretty sure it still exists.

Otherwise what's next... police busting in on Sharon Osbourne the next time she's in the shower and charging her with indecent exposure?

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Robert Goulet 1933 - 2007: Today's Cartoon

While Robert Goulet may be gone, his music and Will Ferrell's characterization of him on "Saturday Night Live" will no doubt live on forever; proving that not only did he go out and do the music world a "fricken' service", but the comedy world as well, by providing it (intentionally or not) with a larger than life persona that was ripe for parody.

To an entire generation, he may have received more recognition for an animated guest spot on "The Simpsons" than his Tony and Grammy awards combined. But for an entertainer to be able find a way to remain relevant for so long, without having to resort to public nudity or racist tirades, is just a testament to Goulet's greatness as a cultural icon.

Something which I'm sure is not lost on William Shatner and the career revival that he's enjoying.

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